The Baby is coming!
It was October 1, 1984 I was sound asleep when suddenly I awoke at 3:00am to the sound of running water. I was 27 years old at the time and my wife Fran was just 21. We were expecting our first child and our due date was October 3rd 1984.
We had taken prenatal classes and read up on what to expect as new parents. Fran was enjoying the experience and was trying to learn all she could about modern birthing methods. She had talked about and read about a method called Water Birthing.
It seems it was a method that involved a small swinging pool or hot tub or large bath tub depending on how many people were in the water. The logic was that since the baby has been developing for nine months in the amniotic fluid environment. Delivery in a fluid environment like water would be more soothing and natural for the baby versus the bright glare of operating room lights and a spank on the bottom.
Fran had gone on and on about the advantages of this method which seemed to me kind of out there and off the wall. I just chalked it up to her hormones that were swinging wildly throughout the pregnancy and viewed water birth as something that could never happen.
As I was saying it was 3:00 in the morning on Oct 1, 1984 and I woke up to hear the water running. At this time we were living in a little house in the country about five miles from Wallaceburg and the hospital. I was a police officer at the time and I’m sure I had received some kind of training about delivering babies in an emergency but I was not ready to deliver my own.
Hearing the water running and noticing that Fran was not lying beside me caused me to go into the first stage of panic. I bolted out of bed and barely touched the stairs as I made my way down from the bedroom. I saw the bathroom door slightly closed and steam was billowing out the door as the sound of running water continued to fill my ears. We had one of those old giant bath tubs with the claw feet which Fran loved to lay back and soak in.
I burst into the bathroom and quickly evaluated the scene and then began to bark out instructions to Fran. Get out - get out now we are not having this baby at home and I am not delivering it in the bath tub!
Fran looked at me bewildered and then began to laugh at me which made me more upset. She said she had just started to have contractions and that everything was O.K. She used the word contractions and I knew that was one of those words they talked about in prenatal class that meant the baby is coming.
I ordered her to get dried off and get dressed because we were going to the hospital; Now! I made a telephone call to the hospital as Fran was shouting at me to calm down and take it easy. Take it easy, take it easy was she nuts a baby was about to come out of her and I had no clue as to what to do. I was now in full panic mode.
We made it to the hospital as she continued to laugh at my reaction at finding her in the tub. She kept trying to reassure me that she was not planning to have the baby in the tub and that she was just trying to get comfortable. I wasn’t buying it so that’s how we ended up at the hospital.
After a few nervous hours her pain subsided and the doctor arrived. It seems I overreacted and that the baby was on the way but it would be some time before it was born. Fran walked up and down the hospital halls for a day and a half until October 2nd arrived.
It was October and for sports fans that means the end of the baseball season and the beginning of the World Series. Our doctor happened to be a sports fan who wanted to see the first game between the final two American League teams the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals. The game was scheduled to start at 7:30pm October 2, 1984.
Fran was still in labor but not yet ready to deliver. I’m not sure if the doctor had money on the game or not or if he was planning to watch it with his sports pals but whatever the reason he decided the baby would be delivered before game time if possible. Our first child Audrey Claire Aarssen was born at 7:30pm. Fran had been induced to speed the delivery and Audrey arrived one day ahead of schedule.
The plans of God are not the same as the plans of man.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
Even though Fran and I had a due date and our plans were put into place God decided our daughters’ birthday by using a baseball game to bring her into the world a day sooner than we had expected. God did something that was unexpected but which we thought we had control over.
We are just 32 days away from celebrating Christmas. I am always amazed at the story of Christmas. How our Heavenly Father wove together His divine plan for redeeming human kind while using the everyday events in the lives of two young people named Joseph and Mary.
Joseph and Mary had been surprised to discover that they would become parents. They were engaged but not married and that complicated things. Joseph did the right thing he had promised to wed Mary even though she was now pregnant with a child that was not his. It helped that God sent an angle to both Mary and Joseph to calm their concerns and to affirm that they were part of a plan that God was orchestrating.
Did you know that Bethlehem is first mentioned in the first book of our bibles in Genesis 35:19? That makes it a very, very old town.
Did you know that King David was born in Bethlehem? The name Bethlehem translates into House of Bread.
We need not be afraid or concerned when it comes to the things God has set in motion.
Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
Micah wrote these words through the inspiration of God some 700 years before Jesus was even born. We learn that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. The Jewish scholars of Jesus time knew this prophecy well.
Joseph and Mary came to find themselves in the little town of Bethlehem thereby fulfilling ancient prophecy about the Messiah. They had not planned to go to Bethlehem, it was ordered by the government of the day. The government needed to count its citizens so that it could then tax its citizens.
Has God changed your plans lately? Did you fully expect one thing to happen only to find your plans were changed by circumstances beyond your control?
It just might be that God is orchestrating your life the same way he did in the lives of Joseph and Mary. You may not think you are on track with your plans or that you are headed in the right direction.
But if you are truly trusting God you can know that the baby that is coming this Christmas is for you. You may not have planned it that way but there is nothing you can do to change the arrival date.
Are you ready to receive Jesus this Christmas or does his soon coming birth put you into a panic mode?
Relax what God has put into place for you is what he has planned long ago. Receive the baby Jesus with open arms and an open heart even if it makes you a little unsure how to hold him - he is coming just for you.